Data Privacy

New Cisco research finds good privacy is good for business

As data privacy moves from a nice-to-have to a critical business function, new research from Cisco shows that ethical practices in this area bring benefits across business performance in general.

The company’s Data Privacy Benchmark Study 2020 – its third annual study – found “strong evidence that privacy has become an attractive investment even beyond any compliance requirements. Organizations that get privacy right improve their customer relationships, operational efficiency, and bottom-line results.”

Specifically, its survey of more than 2,500 respondents in 13 countries found that the average ratio of benefits to spend was 2.7, meaning that for every dollar of investment in privacy, the company received $2.70 worth of benefit. Higher returns still were found in the UK, where companies received up to 3.5 x investment, and Brazil and Mexico, which both had up to 3.3 x return.

Additionally, 74 per cent of those questioned said that improved privacy practices were a key driver in helping to build loyalty and trust with customers, while overall this year, 70 per cent of respondents reported additional business benefits from privacy investments, up from approximately 40 per cent in 2019.

In a global landscape increasingly rife with data privacy legislation, with more in the pipeline poised to join the likes of Europe’s GDPR and the US’s California Consumer Privacy Act, data privacy is clearly moving up the scale of corporate importance.

And, just as crucially, it is extremely pleasing to see very real benefits for the profile and competitive advantage of companies demonstrably looking after the data in their care.

Relationships with consumers are no longer a one-way street, and companies across all sectors need to work harder to maintain customer loyalty.

With data privacy awareness continuing to rise fast among the general public as a result of high-profile hacks and breaches, doing the right thing with data is a crucial element of building, as well as maintaining, consumer trust.

But data is not passive, and its power does not only lie in being tied down and held securely. Brands that work to build trusted relationships with their customers can expect, through using secure personal data sharing platforms such as, to receive more data, with full user consent, allowing them to truly personalise offers and deliver a deeper and more tailored brand experience on a one-to-one basis.

This is what consumers have long been demanding – and the ability for any company to deliver it exists today.

We can only hope – and expect – that as the legislative landscape matures and grows, so too do the business benefits from embracing privacy, for both companies and their customers.

Taking privacy seriously really does pay – and it is becoming increasingly hard for any company which wants to not only survive but thrive in this new data econony to ignore that fact.